[robotics-worldwide] Dec 7th: iCub & friends workshopo at Humanoids 2010

Giorgio Metta giorgio.metta at iit.it
Wed Dec 1 20:35:26 PST 2010




2nd "iCub and friends" workshop

a research endeavour on Open Source humanoid robotics


G. Metta1, J. Steil2, J. Santos-Victor3, P. Ford Dominey4, G. Sandini5


1 Robotics, Brain and Cognitive Science Department, Italian Institute of
Technology (IIT) 

2 CoR-Lab, Research Institute for Cognition and Robotics. Bielefeld

3 VisLab, Institute of Systems and Robotics, Lisbon, Portugal. 

4 Inserm U846 Stem Cell and Brain Research Institute Integrative
Neuroscience & Robotics 

5 Robotics, Brain and Cognitive Science Department, Italian Institute of
Technology (IIT)



The iCub is now an international platform for robot cognition research. In
order to fully exploit the potential of parallel development that takes
place across the different installations, forethought and coordination is
required. The goal of the workshop is to showcase developments that have
been achieved at the different iCub sites with emphasis on their software
realizations and to focus on what will be required so that these
developments can be integrated across the different platforms.



See program and details at:


The workshop discussion focuses on the iCub platform from the software point
of view. We plan to leave ample room for open discussion in the workshop
schedule. This workshop has a broader audience by showcasing cutting edge
humanoid robotics. In particular, it can be informative for researchers
interested in joining the iCub community or more in general interested in
Open Source development.


Important dates:

-   The workshop will be held on December 7th

-   See the conference webpage for directions: http://www.humanoids2010.org/



The iCub is a humanoid robot shaped as a child of about four years of age
available as an open systems platform following the GPL license. The iCub
was originally designed by a European consortium of 11 partners as part of
the activities of the RobotCub Integrated Project funded by European
Commission through its Cognitive Systems and Robotics Unit. Physically, the
iCub is powerful enough to crawl on all fours and sit up. Its hands allow
dexterous manipulation and its head and eyes are fully articulated. It has
visual, vestibular, auditory, and haptic sensory capabilities. To facilitate
the adoption of iCub as an open research platform, the RobotCub project
launched a call for proposals in the area of cognitive humanoids and the
selected seven proposers received a complete iCub free-of-charge. More
recently other groups joined this initiative by building their own iCubs,
e.g. the ITALK, ImClever, Roboskin, CHRIS, Poeticon EU funded projects to
name a few. This workshop aims at presenting the iCub-related activities
spanning aspects from software development, control, vision, cognition and
hardware, sensors and so forth. A similar workshop was held in January 2010
in Sestri Levante (Italy) and at IROS 2010 in Taipei. 


Motivation and objectives

Human intelligence develops through the interaction with the environment and
it is shaped profoundly by the interactions with other human beings. These
concepts altered in a fundamental way the relation between fields such as
neuroscience, information science, psychology, and robotics which are now
learning from each other and together are building a new interdisciplinary
science. As such, the study of artificial cognition and intelligence is
dependent on the use of physical bodies, and, ultimately, on the use of
humanoid robots. Humanoids are essential tools in the study of human
intelligence: since the development of cognitive skills is function of both
neural and physical activity, it is important to simulate human action when
investigating learning, adaptation, anticipation, reasoning, memory,
communication, and language to name a few.

The iCub humanoid platform represents an important opportunity to move this
research agenda forward: through open collaboration, on the common theme of
embodied cognition, enabled by a shared humanoid platform and supported by a
community capable of delivering on this vision in the long run. The
availability of a common platform, such as the iCub, allows benchmarking and
testing theories by comparing results obtained using different method and,
more importantly, it enables the accumulation of results into a common
"repository" shared among scientists. This paves the way to a more
scientific approach to intelligence for robots by enabling researchers
worldwide to access the same experimental facilities.

Our goal is to present a broad overview of these activities which have now
reached a consistent critical mass. In particular, for this second workshop
about the iCub, we would like to stress some of the aspects enabling
collaboration, software sharing, and the technical means that can make
robotics more prone to benchmarking and testing. We will discuss tentative
steps to be taken in order to foster accumulation of knowledge both in
mechanical design and cognitive software development.



.     To show and demonstrate the iCub humanoid platform, including a vision
of the hardware and software;

.     To showcase the strength of collaborative research using a common

.     To show that open source development can help in building a critical
mass of researchers in the important topic of robot intelligence;

.     To promote further means of collaboration and long-term software


List of presenters

Giorgio Metta, Italian Institute of Technology (Italy)

Giulio Sandini, Italian Institute of Technology (Italy)

Lorenzo Natale, Italian Institute of Technology (Italy)

Jose' Santos-Victor, IST Lisbon (Portugal)

Jochen Steil, Univ. of Bielefeld (Germany)

Peter Ford Dominey, INSERM (France)

Arne Nordmann, Univ. of Bielefeld (Germany)

Yiannis Aloimonos, University of Maryland (USA)

Eric Sauser, EPFL (Switzerland)

Aaron Silver, University of Illinois - Urbana-Champaign (USA)



This workshop will be organized under the support of the EU projects ITALK,
CHRIS, Poeticon, eMorph, Amarsi, Roboskin, and the Marie Curie doctoral
network ROBOTDOC.




Giorgio Metta <giorgio.metta at iit.it>


Italian Institute of Technology

Via Morego, 30                            

16163 Genoa, Italy                         

Ph: +39 010 7178-1411

Fax: +39 010 7170-817


URL: http://pasa.liralab.it 



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